5 Chocolates & Candies for an Ethical Halloween
Your Halloween candy consumption doesn't need to be scary.
Sugar and fat aside, there are bigger issues to consider when choosing what treats you dole out on Halloween. Environmental impact, packaging, supply chain and worker’s rights are just a few areas we consider when rating any food product, chocolate and candy included. These issues are often overlooked or too difficult to discern when crunched for time in the aisle. And too often do they become less important when faced with a majorly discounted jumbo bag of generic lollipops and peanut butter cups for anonymous neighbors. But you gotta wonder- who pays the true cost for that chocolate?
Assuming you don’t want to be that neighbor handing out apples (which we see absolutely nothing wrong with, by the way), we’ve rounded up 5 Best and Great Rated chocolate and candy brands to responsibly satiate that sweet tooth:
Head to Sedona, Arizona, and you’ll find nearly untouched raw cacao at Best Rated Lulu’s Chocolate. This small-batch operation has big intentions, working with exclusively raw chocolate free from all things troublesome and wholly sourced from small family farms. No matter the variation, its chocolate products are organic, vegan, soy-free and sensibly sweetened with a low-glycemic index coconut sugar. This is chocolate in its truest form: While most chocolates are heated at high temperatures, which often deplete nutrients and nuance, Lulu’s Chocolate sun dries their beans instead of roasting and never heats anything over 113 degree, maintaining the raw, enriching characteristics of cacao. They even have high standards for their packaging, using exclusively recycled paper, soy and veggie-based inks, and 100% compostable foil.
MOPURE MAPLE CANDY
Harvested from Canadian maple trees tucked away in snow-blanketed mountains, Best Rated Möpure Mountain Maple Candy is consciously produced with a tenacity for environmental consideration along every step of the process. They consider the protection and conservation of biological diversity, and in such prohibit the clearing of primary forests, practice regeneration through the planting of young maple trees, promote non-chemical production methods, and selectively restrict tapping to healthy adult trees with a maximum of 3 collectors per tree. And with more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals than honey and sugar, you can enjoy their maple syrup sweetness without the guilt!
ALTER ECO CHOCOLATE
Plucked from organic trees in the Peruvian Amazon and Ecuadorian coast in partnership with a pioneering reforestation and agroforestry project, Best Rated Alter Eco employs small-scale cacao farmers’ cooperatives with Fair Trade incomes while giving back to the land. With the environmental goal of being carbon negative, they have planted more than 2 million trees through this project. This allows farmers to protect their cacao crops, regenerate their ecosystem and diversify their sources of income. They also developed their own compostable packaging made from eucalyptus and birch trees with non-toxic ink. Their approach to chocolate is truly a model one!
THE GINGER PEOPLE CANDIES
Touting ginger’s age-old medicinal use of restoring vital energy, stimulating circulation, cancer prevention, and relieving countless maladies including nausea, headaches and arthritis, The Ginger People’s candies are both delicious and nutritious. The company has been actively working towards Non-GMO Project certification for their entire product line, sources organically whenever possible, and remains a family-owned-and-operated business after 30 years. They offer their Great Rated signature Gin Gins Ginger Candies in fun-size portions perfect for your trick-or-treating needs. And it’s the only candy that bites back- a sort of trick within the treat!
This is unconventionally healthy, handmade sugar-free candy made in small batches by a science-teacher-turned-candymaker mother in Brooklyn, NY. It’s so healthy dentists even recommend it! Seriously- it's sweetened with non GMO Xylitol which strengthens teeth, reduces tooth decay and cavity-causing bacteria. It’s also vegan, safe for diabetics, and comes in a nifty reusable metal tin. Cracked Candy also works with Brooklyn Community Services, one of the longest serving nonprofit, non-sectarian social service providers in New York City that empowers at-risk children, youth and families, and adults with mental illness and developmental disabilities. Parents everywhere will thank you for this candy!
Photo by Farm to People.
If you’re unable to find these sweet treats at your local market, look for ones with certification labels such as Fair Trade, Direct Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Fair for Life and Certified Organic. And steer clear of notorious ingredients like unethically sourced cacao, destructive palm oil and monoculture corn syrup. Spending those few extra dollars could mean the difference between supporting a regenerative family farm or a destructive plantation that runs on slave labor. So let’s make this Halloween a little less scary for everyone. Happy treating!